Microsoft is starting to test new changes to the Xbox Home UI that will eventually arrive for everyone in 2023. The changes will include tweaks to the layout and design to make it easier to find Xbox games and apps or navigate to areas like the settings interface. Microsoft will conduct a variety of Xbox Home experiments over the coming months before launching its new Xbox Home UI in 2023.
“We know the Xbox homepage is where our gamers spend the most time, and it’s a space that’s very personal,” says Ivy Krislov, senior product manager lead of Xbox experiences. “We also know we can always be listening and learning how we can do better here while keeping your experience fast and familiar. With that, we’re kicking off a multi-month series of experiments to learn how to create a more personalized home screen experience and address some of the top trends and fan requests.”
A random subset of Xbox Insiders in the Alpha Skip-Ahead ring will get access to some of the Xbox Home experiments this week. The first round of preview updates includes a new “jump back in” row at the top of Xbox Home that includes the usual recently played games and apps. You’ll notice (in the screenshot above) that there’s no longer a bigger tile for the most recently used app or game, and the interface is a lot more like Microsoft’s Xbox TV app.
That Xbox TV app also has a search function up top and quick access to settings — Microsoft is bringing both to its main Xbox Home console UI. There’s even a pinned tile for access to the Microsoft Store alongside the usual “My games & apps” tile. Unfortunately, the ad tile still exists and is pinned to the Xbox Home screen.
When you scroll down, Microsoft will show curated categories and recommendations based on the games you play, and there should be a more consistent design throughout with improved layouts.
Xbox users have been calling on Microsoft to redesign its Xbox Home interface for months, with suggestions to focus on showing more of the dynamic wallpapers, remove the ads, and offer up more customizability for the Xbox Home screen. This redesign doesn’t address all of that quite yet, but there are months left for more tweaks that could make it a lot more customizable.
I’d personally like to be able to fully customize the Xbox Home UI, pin apps and games freely up top, and remove the static tiles Microsoft forces everyone to have. I can fully customize my iPhone homescreen and move apps, games, and widgets wherever I want, so why not allow something similar on Xbox?
“We want to ensure this experience is the best it can be, and we know getting it right will take some time which is why we will be rolling it out slowly and iterating throughout the process,” Krislov explains. “With your input, we’re looking forward to launching this new, better Home experience in 2023.”
Update, September 8th 11:20AM ET: Article updated to note testers will get access on September 9th, not today as an early copy of Microsoft’s blog post had indicated.